Updated on 15 May 2023
A missed miscarriage - or a silent or delayed miscarriage - is a type of miscarriage in which a woman may not realize that her pregnancy was terminated. It can be a confusing and an emotional experience for a woman, as she may still have specific symptoms of pregnancy and may not know what is happening to her body. There are multiple missed miscarriage causes. Women need to be aware of the symptoms, causes, and signs of missed miscarriages so they can seek appropriate care.
A missed miscarriage, also known as a silent or delayed miscarriage, is a type of miscarriage in which the foetus is not alive anymore but the carrier is not aware of it. It can occur when the foetus dies in the uterus, but the body does not recognize the loss and the pregnancy continues to progress as normal. A missed miscarriage can be difficult to diagnose as the woman may still have symptoms of pregnancy and the uterus may not have expelled the foetus.
A missed miscarriage can be confusing for a woman, as she may not realize she has lost her pregnancy. This is because the symptoms of pregnancy, such as breast tenderness and morning sickness, may still be present, and the woman may not have any bleeding or cramping. The uterus may also not have expelled the fetus, so there may be no physical signs of missed miscarriage. Moreover, signs of pregnancy may still be experienced as the placenta may still be releasing hormones.
There are several potential missed miscarriage causes, including:
The missed miscarriage symptoms can be subtle and may not be noticeable at first. Some common symptoms include:
Lack of fetal movement
Baby with no heartbeat at 12 weeks
Decreasing pregnancy symptoms
Sometimes there is no fetal heartbeat but no signs of miscarriage, which can be confusing and distressing. In such cases, a healthcare provider may perform an ultrasound and other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the absence of a fetal heartbeat and identify any other symptoms of fetal heartbeat stopping.
Upon examining the missed miscarriage symptoms, a healthcare provider will perform a physical examination and may order a variety of tests, including:
Dilation and curettage (D&C)
Treatment for a missed miscarriage will depend on the individual circumstances of the woman and may include:
Dilation and curettage
If a woman is diagnosed with a missed miscarriage, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A healthcare provider can guide treatment options and can help the woman understand the reasons behind no fetal heartbeat but no signs of miscarriage and what to expect during the process. It is also important for the woman to seek emotional support from their close ones during this difficult time.
Missed miscarriages, or experiencing the baby having no heartbeat at 12 weeks, are relatively rare, occurring in about 1-2% of pregnancies. They are more common in the first trimester, and the risk decreases as the pregnancy progresses. A missed miscarriage is more likely to occur at a 12-week scan if there are abnormalities in the fetus or if the woman has a history of miscarriage or uterine abnormalities.
In most cases, a missed miscarriage will not affect a woman's ability to have a healthy pregnancy in the future. However, if the woman has underlying health conditions or uterine abnormalities, it may be more difficult to carry a pregnancy to term. It is important for the woman to discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider and to seek medical care before trying to conceive again.
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There is no way to completely prevent a missed miscarriage, as various factors can cause it. However, there are steps a woman can take to reduce her risk of miscarriage, including:
Seeking medical care as soon as possible after becoming pregnant can help identify any potential problems early on.
If the woman has a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, it is important to manage it carefully to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Avoiding behaviours that increase the risk of miscarriage, such as smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, can help reduce the risk of missed miscarriage.
You may also like: 8 Steps to Help You Recover Emotionally from the Loss of Your Baby
To sum up, a missed miscarriage is a type of miscarriage in which a woman may not realize she has lost her pregnancy. It can be a confusing and emotional experience, and women need to be aware of the symptoms, causes, and treatments of missed miscarriages so they can seek appropriate care.
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